WHAT ARE SOME KOREAN DIALECTS?
Gyeongsang-do 경상도 dialect is tonal, which means the intonation or pitch in which a sound is spoken affects the meaning. Also, many sentences are spoken in a literary style and end with “~da” “~다,” “no” “~노,” and “na” “~나.”
Chungcheong-do 충청도 dialect is perceived to be slower than other dialects, even in emergency situations. But it actually sounds like that because the end of the sentence is drawn out. Also, sentences end with “~yeo” “~여,” “~gyeo” “~겨,” and “~yu” “~유.” For example, “haesseoyo” ““했어요” (“I did”) is “haesseoyu-“ “했어유,” with the end drawn out.
Jeolla-do 전라도 dialect has a variety of accent-heavy rejoinders, such as “atta” “아따,” (boy/gee!) and “chammallo” “참말로,” (really/seriously). Also, many sentences end with “ranke” “~랑께,” and “bureo” “~부러.”
Jeju-do 제주도 dialect is the most unique one compared to others, as Jeju Island is separated from the inland by the sea. One of the examples is the structure of an interrogative sentence. “-haetsseo?” “-했어?” “did you do it?” is “haen?” “~핸?” in Jeju dialect. Eoseo oseyo “어서오세요” “Welcome,” is honjeo opseo“ “혼저옵서” in Jeju dialect.
WHY DO KOREANS SAY “I GO” SO MUCH?
Why do Korean people say “I go” even when they are not going anywhere? What you hear is aigo/aigu 아이고/아이고 , which is an interjection for “oops” or “oh, man,” which can be used to show frustration, embarrassment, and surprise, like when you drop something or see someone hit their pinky toe on the furniture! It can also be used when you are scolding someone. For example, “Aigoo! Did you catch a cold? Didn’t I tell you to bundle up?”
DOUBLE CHECK! KOREAN YES/NO DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN YES/NO!
English Teacher: “You didn’t do your homework?”
Korean Student: “No, teacher.”
English Teacher: “What? You’re going to fail the class then.”
Korean Student: “Why? I did my homework.”
English Teacher: “You just said you didn’t do your homework.”
Korean Student: “No teacher, I said I did my homework.”
English Teacher: Okay, let’s take a roll. Cheol-su? Isn’t Cheol-su here?
Korean Student: Yes, teacher.
English Teacher: Well, I don’t see him? Where is he?
Korean Student: I said Cheol-su is not here, teacher!
Do you see what’s going on here? In the first case above, what the Korean student meant was “No, I did do my homework, teacher, and in the second example the implied answer was, “Yes, Cheol-su isn’t here, teacher.” As you can see, the Korean student has negated the sentence as a whole, while the English teacher was focusing on the action. So when you talk to a Korean speaker in English, it’s best to double-check. Isn’t this confusing? Yes? No? Is that the Korean Yes or No?